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Anderson University women's basketball team van burglarized in St. Louis

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Posted at 7:05 PM, Nov 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-13 19:05:57-05

ANDERSON — A trip to St. Louis for Anderson University's women's basketball team, led to one of their buses being broken into.

It happened on Friday, just outside of the historic Gateway Arch.

Now, the team is missing uniforms and electronics.

The players tell WRTV the trip to St. Louis was emotional. They couldn't believe their stuff was taken from the their bus in broad daylight.

"It was a scary traumatic event," said Coach Jon Gin. "We stopped by the Arch on Friday before our game at like 2 in the afternoon. We were only there for like 30 minutes and one van's broken into. The van was locked. We were heading to Arch when we got back the driver's door lock had been picked. The doors were open not the way we left it. Everything inside was rifled through and backpacks were missing."

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Head Coach Jon Gin said some of the girls' backpacks had their game day jerseys, shoes, headphones, wallets, laptops and Ipads in them.

"We were tallying up everything that got lost. I think it was a couple hundred at least. The shoes were $180 alone plus tax so that's around $200. So, I probably lost around $400," said Victoria Deatraz.

"I was the first person in the bus to realize all of our bags were gone. I thought it was a joke, then it became so real, quickly. When I saw it I was in shock. I was like we gotta cancel my cards. I was one of the lucky ones. I feel so sorry for my teammates. They don’t deserve that, nobody does. It was emotional. We had to be there for each other," said Katie Tatum.

"One of our parents dumpster dived. She tracked a laptop and saw it stopped for like 20 minutes. We went to that dumpster dove in and found about 50% of stuff taken," said Coach Gin.

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Freshman point guard, Katie Tatum, said the team scrambled to get back up shoes for the upcoming games, and borrowed jerseys from the hosting team, Webster University. They picked up a win against the opposing team.

"I think we were a little angry going into this game. We had motivation to win. It was a horrible day, but we had to end it good. I think that win helped us out and kept us in a positive mindset for the weekend," said Tatum.

The team is back on its home court but doesn't have new jerseys yet.

Money will have to be spent, which the team said could impact it's upcoming mission trip to Costa Rica.

"It's just frustrating I guess you could say. Now, you have to replace everything. And the jerseys, those you have to order and don’t get them for a long time. I don’t think we will get them until next year," said Detraz.

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The team is asking the community to pitch in.

"As a freshman, this trip is something I've never experienced before. We have been working Colt's games, fundraising stuff, doing community service to get money and to see that be set back for a little while is kind of tough. We are still staying positive about it and doing all we can to get our jerseys back and go on this trip and have a good experience as a team together," said Tatum.

"We have a page online right now website and donate that would be huge," she said.

Once every 3 years, we are allowed to go overseas with the team and play basketball. We are going to put some basketball clinics, set up homeless shelters and just show the love of Christ. We hope to help the people in Costa Rica. This whole season has been about Costa Rica so trying to raise funds for that," said Coach Gin.